Transmittable Diseases

You love your pets and want to keep them safe and healthy. But did you know that by vaccinating your pets and using recommended monthly preventatives, you are protecting your family’s health as well? Many diseases and bugs are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. Below are some common parasites and infections that can be spread to humans.

Worms


Tapeworms

  • Spread through ingestion of fleas
  • Often spread to children due to poor hand hygiene

Hookworms

  • Spread by ingesting the parasite or through mother’s milk
  • Puppies at high risk, can lead to death
  • Spread to humans through contaminated soil
    • Can enter the skin while walking barefoot, kneeling or sitting
    • Causes itchy reaction
    • A red squiggly line can often be seen at site of entry

Roundworms

  • Spread to pets and humans by ingesting eggs from the environment
  • Spread through mother’s milk
    • Stunted growth
    • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Can cause two types of diseases in humans (children are most at risk)
    • Ocular larva migrans
    • Larvae invade the retina
  • Inflammation, scarring, and possible blindness.
    • Visceral larva migrans
    • larvae invade the liver, lungs, or central nervous system.

Regional Bugs


Giardia

  • Parasite that causes diarrhea in animals and people
  • Transmitted through food or water contaminated with stool
    • Lake water
  • Symptoms in animals and people:
    • Diarrhea, greasy stool, dehydration, abdominal cramps, and vomiting

Leptospirosis

  • A bacterial disease transmitted through contaminated water and urine
  • Causes kidney and liver failure
  • Flu-like symptoms in humans

Lyme

  • A bacterial disease transmitted by ticks
  • Symptoms in pets:
    • Lameness, fever, decreased appetite, lethargy
  • Signs and Symptoms in humans:
    • Red “bull’s eye” rash, flu-like symptoms, Bell’s Palsy, death

Viruses


Rabies

  • A fatal neurologic disease; caused by a virus
  • Commonly infected through bites from rabid animals
  • Symptoms in pets:
    • Sudden behavioral change and progressive paralysis
  • Symptoms in humans:
    • generalized weakness, fever, and headache
    • Progress to confusion, anxiety, behavioral changes, delirium, and death]

Many of these diseases can be prevented with vaccines and monthly preventatives. To learn more about how you can protect you and your pets, contact us at Harbor Point Animal Hospital!